Over four thousand people are trapped on the coastline of Mallacoota in the state of Victoria, Australia on Tuesday morning as fires rage through the country and residents had to evacuate their hometown.
People are taking shelter wherever they can, some with boats even fleeing out to sea and others having to stay on beaches until it is safe to go back into the towns.
Dozens of properties have been destroyed and at least seven people were unaccounted for in New South Wales and Victoria during the latest blaze.
Australia is burning.
The city of Mallacoota is completely surrounded by flame and 4,000 people have been forced to flee and seek shelter on the beach.
We need to act on climate change. This cannot be our new normal.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) December 31, 2019
Australia has been fighting an uphill battle against bushfires for months now, some allegedly started maliciously and others as a result of lightning strikes. Strong winds and extreme droughts make it almost impossible to contain the fires.
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service said that in some places, the blazes were so intense, the smoke so thick and the fire-provoked dry lightning storms so severe, that aerial reconnaissance and waterbombing had to be halted.
In Mallacoota, extremely thick smoke led “ember attacks,” reports EWN. This means that parts of trees such as twigs or branches become temporarily airborne and cause a safety hazard.
“The fires in NSW and Victoria are continuing to rage and we expect further difficult news out of both of those states,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said according to SA People.
Ecologists have estimated that over 480 million animals have perished so far in Australia’s wild fires, including around 8,000 koalas.
Picture: Twitter/Seamus Daniel